Flanders to subsidize Unesco World Heritage procession in Bruges

The Procession of the Holy Blood in Bruges will receive additional financial aid. The Flemish government will provide a subsidy of 50,000 euros from next year, the city announced onTuesday 24 May.

The procession dates back to at least 1303 and is on the representative list of Unesco World Heritage since 2009. The Holy Blood Procession takes place every year on Ascension Day and attracts an average of 40,000 spectators and 2,000 workers to the center of Bruges. 

Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon decided to subsidize the procession with an amount of 50,000 euros after a request from the chairman of the Noble Confrérie of the Holy Blood William De Groote.

“The non-profit organization runs entirely on volunteers, but that commitment alone is no longer enough to keep such an event at top level,” says Pol Van Den Driessche, Bruges city councilor and diplomatic advisor to Jambon.

After being cancelled for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the procession will depart from the Dijver again this Thursday, 26 May at 2.30 pm. Spectators can watch the Holy Blood Procession for free along the trail.

The heart of the event is the reenactment of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the legend, after the second Crusade in 1150, the Count of Flanders Thierry d'Alsace brought the relic of the Holy Blood of Jesus back from Jerusalem to be placed in the Basilica on the Burg. 





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